Los Angeles County reported fewer than 100 intensive care unit beds remaining on Monday, an alarming new low as hospitals in the nation’s most populous county see a record number of patients with coronavirus infections that officials warn could soon overwhelm capacity.
Data from Los Angeles County Health Services, which operates 26 health centers and four acute care hospitals in the county, reported just 95 beds remaining on Monday, rising slightly on Tuesday to 115.
Health officials reported 4,403 people hospitalized with Covid-19 in the county, about 21% of whom were being treated in intensive care. Hospitalizations in the county have increased four-fold since Nov. 16, rising from 1,049 to more than 4,400 today.
The number of remaining beds available for Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents reached critical lows as the county reported 86 new deaths Tuesday, the highest number since the summer, when the region last saw a surge in new cases and prompted a new round of restrictions.
Overall ICU bed capacity for the Southern California region has also plunged to just 1.7% as the state continued to report more than 30,000 new cases of the coronavirus for a fifth consecutive day.
The L.A. County Department of Health Services “has worked very hard to address the capacity issues by bringing in new staff, canceling procedures and shifting nurses from outpatient areas the hospitals,” a county spokesperson told CNN. “In addition, DHS has transitioned additional space to care for COVID-19 patients.”
Neighboring counties like Riverside and Ventura County are also reporting their current ICU bed capacity at 0% or 1%.
According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the number of ICU patients has doubled in the state and is putting a strain on the health care system.
“Our reality is frightening at the moment with over 4,200 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and almost half of our ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients,” L.A. County's Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “By next weekend, there are likely to be over 5,000 patients hospitalized and more than 50% of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.”
The ICU bed capacity in the San Joaquin Valley is also hovering at a dangerously low 1.6%, according to the California Department of Public Health.
To date, California has reported a total of 1,617,370 confirmed cases of the virus and 21,188 deaths.
Note: These numbers were released by the California Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.